Farooq Mazhar was Pakistan’s most prominent sports journalist, television commentator and former Editor of The News. He died on April 28, 2001 in Bahrain enroute to America after a short illness.
Mazhar, a chain-smoker, who also had taste for alcohol suffered bronchogenic carcinoma diagnosed accidently during Pakistan cricket team’s tour to New Zealand in 2001 where he had gone as team’s Media Manager. He began to spit blood and also complained of lower backache.
By the time, the fatal disease was diagnosed, it had already spread to his bones. Towards the end he knew that life was short and there was nothing much left, but he still had the tenacity and moral courage to enjoy a drink or two and spicy food at the Little India restaurant in Wellington.
Mazhar started his career as a journalist in 1959 for the then famed magazine Sportstimes. From there he ventured over to the Pakistan Times as a sports reporter. He was one of the few correspondents in the world to have covered nine editions of the Olympic Games for radio, television or newspapers.
He also made a name for himself as a political analyst. His knowledge of politics and his clear thinking made him a heartthrob.
Mazhar served as the President of the International Hockey Sports Writers Association, a part of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). His knowledge of hockey was so vast and his analysis so unbiased that chiefs of Pakistan hockey from gen Musa Khan to Air Marshal Nur Khan to Ari Ali Khan Abbasi all consulted him on matters regarding the game.
He also covered cricket for various newspapers and also for Sportstimes. Interestingly, cricket was Mazhar’s first love until hockey took him away.
Mazhar expired at the age of 62 leaving behind his loving wife Khalida, a son and a daughter. He was buried at the Cavalry Ground Graveyard in Lahore.
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